News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 03/01/10 Edition

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Tom Izzo loves March and with his Spartans being two wins from another Big Ten title, don't look for him to lose that passion any time soon.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Tom Izzo loves March and with his Spartans being two wins from another Big Ten title, don't look for him to lose that passion any time soon. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.


The Spartan Nation is well aware that March is Izzo time. He said as much today, “This is our one and done time now…March is the best time of the year.” MSU has to win the next two games to win at least a share of the Big 10, and with the Big 10 tournament and NCAA tournament ahead later in the month he is right.


As far as the Purdue game, “We needed that win and got it with togetherness.”


Izzo told his team prior to the game in the locker room, “You are going to guard your man and half of someone else’s.”


As far as Raymar, “Not many games we don’t win when he plays well.”


The perplexing issue that this team plays better on the road, “We have seemed to play better on the road. There are less distractions…We have to learn to play with as much intensity at home as on the road.”


As far as the legendary war drill with this team, “I haven’t pulled out the shoulder pads and helmets because this team might crumble under that where as previous teams salivated over it.” That was the biggest quote of the news conference.


Izzo called out the fans prior to the Purdue game and said today about them, “Our fans have been a lot better than the team…I did ask for it (more emotion from the fans) and I got it. They were phenomenal in those two games and we weren’t. They should call me out.”


On his team’s reputation for great March play? “The respect they get in March is because of the guys before them, not them.”


On the theme that we have been harping on that this team needs to get all hitting on the same cylinders. “If just half the pieces could get together at one time. That’s part of the chemistry.”


Last week Draymond Green came up with the idea of the entire team having a sleepover at the Breslin on Friday night. Kalin’s, “Eyes lit up,” and Izzo knew it was the thing to do. So he grabbed Steven Mateen (his son) and they all spent the night playing video games, ping-pong and video games along with pizza. He slept in a sleeping bag like everyone else, but he took the center court S. He called the experience, “It was high schoolish. In college now we want to make everything proish. I loved it.”


On his team’s chemistry, “This team hasn’t been as close. Doesn’t mean they don’t get along, it just doesn’t do as much together.”


On if he has figured this team out? “This team has confused me.”


On motivating Raymar, “I just keep thinking I have to get Raymar excited about basketball. In the locker room, walking around the hotel, getting on the bus I can almost predict how he is going to play.”


What makes a leader? He cited Mateen and said, “When you can call out your best friend (Mo Pete) that is what great leaders are.”


On Kalin’s poor offensive performance against Purdue? “He didn’t let it bother the rest of his game.”


On how fans perceive coaches making snap judgments in a game? “Nothing ever happens in the game.” He was referring to practice and of the court during the week.


Why PSU is dangerous, “They lost 11 in a row then have won three of four and are shooting 50%.”


On Chris Allen’s maturation, “He can become a great player now and you can’t be that only as a shooter. He is becoming a great player.”


He said that, “Other than Ohio State, they (PSU) are as dangerous as anyone right now.”


“Isaiah Dahlman will leave here as a great Spartan. Maybe not a great basketball player, but a great Spartan. He is a Spartan and program guy first teamer.”


Tom Herzog will graduate at the end of the year and Izzo will talk to him this week about whether or not to celebrate senior day on Sunday or if he is coming back.